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Conjoined Baby Girls Doing Well

The two-month-old co-joined twin sisters from Shanxi Province are recovering well at a Shanghai hospital after a successful separation surgery on June 1.

"All vital signs indicate both girls are in stable condition and recovering as expected. Previous tests showed their blood pressure, heart beat and liver were functioning normally," said Professor Jin Huiming, vice-director of the Paediatric Surgery Department at Shanghai Xinhua Hospital, where the babies, Wu Xinchen and Wu Xinyue, were separated.

Both have been closely watched by a team of doctors and three nurses around the clock.

"I was very worried and could not sleep for several nights after our daughters underwent the surgery," said the father Wu Liwen, who accompanied the twins to Shanghai with his mother-in-law on May 27.

"My wife who stayed at home is more worried than me, so I called her every evening to report the situation of our daughters," he added.

The father may feel more relaxed because no infections or other critical syndromes have occurred, except that their temperature went a little higher than normal in the first two days after the surgery.

Doctors said both girls were expected to be released from hospital around June 15 -- two weeks after the surgery. They will grow to be healthy children, according to Professor Jin.

The twins were born after a Caesarean surgery on March 17 in Changzhi, Shanxi Province, being connected from chest to navel. Medical staff failed to find they were connected until the mother struggled for a natural birth for five hours. And the following ultra-B sound test results surprised both parents and doctors.

The family then contacted Shanghai Xinhua Hospital which has successfully performed five such cases since 1998. However, the family with an annual income of less than 7,000 yuan (US$848) could not afford the medical cost -- more than 30,000 yuan (US$3,600).

However, the hospital offered the surgery for free.

(China Daily June 7, 2005)

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